News from 1898 Gaelic II celebrates two Fourths

Mark Baber

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MAB Note: The inconsistent spelling of Miss Alice's surname is in the original.

The San Francisco Call, 16 July 1898

CELEBRATED TWO FOURTHS OF JULY
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PASSENGERS ON THE GAELIC JUGGLE WITH THE DAYS
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Miss Alice Neilsen Entertains With Song While on the Ocean Deep

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But few Americans have an opportunity to celebrate two Fourths of July in
the same month of the same year. This is no paradox, as the passengers of
the Gaelic, which arrived yesterday from the Orient, will attest. They had
their first Fourth of July when we were celebrating the stirring victory of
Schley at Santiago and their second Fourth was sandwiched in on the 180th
parallel [sic].

All on board participated in the celebration on the ocean wave and so
successful was the first day's jubilee that the second Fourth was also given
over to fireworks and a popping of fizz bottles by the more patriotic. The
captain promised to supply champagne for all on the Fourth of July, and as
there was much debate as to which was the only genuine and exclusive Fourth
his promise was adjudged by a court of last resort to extend to all Fourths
that might occur in the year 1898.

The feature of the exercises was the singing of "The Star-spangled Banner"
by Alice Neilson. She was costumed as the Goddess of Liberty and rendered
many of the patriotic songs of this country, winning high praise from all.
The celebration was the most noteworthy ever hold on board the Gaelic. All
approved of the twin days' celebration with the exception of an Englishman,
who did not think it was quite the proper thing. He agreed with the rest
that the Fourth of July was a great day, but he could see neither rhyme nor
reason in running it through forty-eight hours.

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